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Happy Groundhog Day – A Good Time of Year to Start Trapping Groundhogs

February 2nd, 2018

Groundhog Day is celebrated every year in the United States and Canada on February 2nd. The Lure states that if a groundhog sees its shadow upon exiting their burrow that it will retreat back to their burrow and there will be six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog on the other hand does not see its shadow spring will arrive early.

If you have a groundhog problem or have had one in the past, now is the time to begin trapping and removing them. Groundhogs often establish burrows along grassy strips of land in fields and on the edge of wooded areas. It is when groundhogs infiltrate your yard that they become a big problem. Not only can they destroy your landscaping, but they often like to burrow and den under porches and decks. Groundhogs become a nuisance when they excavate next to foundations or under buildings. Their eating habits do not typically conflict with humans; however, gnawing on underground power cables or electric lines causes power outages. Tunnels and burrow systems are typically only 2-3 feet below the surface, however, they have been known to burrow under foundations and basements which if left untreated could lead to serious structural issues. Smaller groundhogs can easily fit through holes as small as 3 – 4 inches in diameter, while the typical entrance is closer to 10 inches and accompanied by a pile of dirt. They usually have one main entrance and up to three secondary entries. The only way homeowners can discourage groundhogs from digging in their yard is to trap and remove all groundhogs in the area.

Groundhogs are diurnal, being most active in the morning and evening before sunset. They can often be found sunning themselves in an open field, or on a wall or fence. February and March are the best times to begin trapping groundhogs as they come out to sun themselves on unseasonably warm mornings and evenings. This time of year, allows a trapper to easily entice a hungry groundhog into a trap, because food is scarce for a herbivore, that usually dines on readily-available food from gardens, flowerbeds, and fields.

In addition to being easier to catch this time of year, it is important to control the population of groundhogs in your area for cost saving reasons. A single den is typically occupied by one male and two females that usually breeds between March and April. Litters are typically born about a month after mating and consist of 4-6 young. Most juveniles depart the den by mid-summer to establish their own territory, however females occasionally stay in the family den for a little less than a year, when a new litter is set to arrive.

If you have a nuisance groundhog infiltrating your yard give Tri-State Wildlife a call today! 859-635-0037

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